Sunday, October 19, 2014

She's A Seven Year Old With A Business Plan

Making banana bread all by herself

Joy has shown an interest in cooking from birth.  Or so it seems.  She has always been my little shadow.  "Mommy, can I help make dinner?"  Which has transitioned to "Mommy, can I make dinner all by myself?"  She's seven.

Today she and Lizzy were discussing their futures.  Joy said that she wanted to own a restaurant.  I suggested that maybe she could be like a family friend who runs a catering business out of her home.  That way she could work from home, work on her own schedule, and take time off when she has other things going on.  She loved that idea.  Except she wanted to take it even further.

She grabbed a piece of paper and told me to take notes so she would have all her ideas written down for when she's older.

She wants to have a catering business but she also wants to teach cooking classes.  Classes for kids, classes for women who are like her mom and get married with few kitchen skills, classes for couples that end with a date night eating their prepared food.  Her list goes on and on of how she is going to do this, some of the dishes she wants to teach, when she would teach them.

I sat there looking at her across the breakfast table and could see that this was real for her.  She really wants to do this.  She probably will.  Every day she asks me if she can make a new recipe for things that leave me shaking my head because they are not normal kid things and are made from scratch.

They may have looked messy, but they sure were good

Last week she asked if she could make banana bread.  I said sure but that I didn't have time to help her.  She made the entire thing on her own and it was good!  Like really good.  Last week she also asked if she could make chocolate covered pretzels, which were also better than store bought.  She and Lizzy made it together.

Rolling out crackers and poking holes in the dough

This afternoon she asked to make crackers.  From scratch.  I found a basic recipe for saltines, but she wanted to flavor it up.  She added fresh chives and various other herbs of which I didn't pay attention to.  I tried one of her crackers and I just looked at her, "Joy, you're scary.  These are really good.  I would buy these and eat them."

Did I mention that she's seven?  A newly turned seven year old?

Two weeks ago she made spaghetti and was all set to make her own pasta sauce from scratch when I told her there was an open jar in the fridge.  She was grabbing the canned tomatoes ready to whip up some marinara sauce because she had a recipe in her cookbook from the library that told her how to make it.

Reading through a cookbook from the library
all ready to make marinara sauce from scratch

As I've watched her grown in skill and confidence over the past year, I've realized that I need to just step back and let her go.  Forget the mess, forget the inconvenience.  This is a real gift she has and the best thing I can do to help her is to give her free reign in my kitchen.  To step aside when she asks to cut up the chicken even if it's raw meat, to hand her the cake mix box and say "Have at it.  Call me if you need any help."  To let her try her hand at things that I think are too hard for her, to let her add her own special seasonings to spice up the recipe.  To let her watch the Cooking Network even if I think it's boring.  To encourage her passion.

Because God has clearly given her a gift for cooking and I want to let that gift grow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Waiting to Jump--Lizzy Got Her Ears Pierced

When Lizzy turned 9 in June, we offered to let her get her ears pierced.  She thought about it and said no.  Every time we go to the mall (all 2 times since her birthday) and walk past the jewelry store, I ask her if she's ready.  She gives me a scared look and says, not yet.

Today we were at the mall for lunch and a movie.  As I was sitting there eating my lunch and talking with my Grandma, Mom, Aunt and Sis-in-law, Lizzy came up to me and said:

"You know how you said I could get my ears pierced whenever I am ready?  Do you think I could get it done today?"  I handed her the phone and told her to call her Dad to make sure it was fine with him.  He said yes, we had a half hour before our movie, so we went to get it done right then.

As I stood there filling out the waiver form, Lizzy said, "Mom, have you ever had a funny feeling in your tummy because you were excited but also nervous?"

"Yes.  I get like that sometimes.  And I want you to know, you don't have to do this.  Even right up to the last second you can change your mind and we'll try again another time."

Nope.  She wasn't going to do that.  The sales woman asked Lizzy if she wanted a count down before she pierced her ears.  "No, just do it."  Lizzy hopped up into the chair and got her ears pierced with barely a flinch.

As we were walking through the mall to the movie theater after we were done, she had the biggest smile on her face.  She was so happy, so proud.  But I told her what really made me proud of her.  And it wasn't because she'd gotten her ears pierced today.

"Lizzy, it really took bravery to wait until you were ready to get your ears pierced.  I've asked you several times if you were ready and you knew that you weren't.  You didn't let me talk you into it but waited.  Being able to say 'no' or 'not yet' takes more bravery sometimes than saying 'yes.'"

It may have taken Lizzy three and a half months to decide she was ready to get her ears pierced, but I am glad she waited.  She learned that you don't have to say 'yes' if you're uncomfortable.  It's okay to wait.  Which is a lesson that will serve her well down the road when it comes to bigger things like peer pressure.  Sometimes saying 'no' or 'not yet' is more courageous.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Joy's Miracle

Popeye smile vs a more straight smile

We have the choice to purchase dental insurance for our family every year.  Last year I noticed that Joy had a crossbite.  Meaning her teeth did not meet in the middle as they should.  Her upper teeth shifted to one side.  As a child, I also had a crossbite and wore an expander for my upper jaw for about 6 months.  Which is why I even noticed Joy's teeth issue.  But I put off seeking treatment because we didn't have dental insurance last year.

This year we signed up for dental insurance specifically to cover the necessary treatment for Joy's bite.  We went to the regular dentist and I asked him about it.  He agreed with me and referred us to the same orthodontist that I saw as a child.  In April they took x-rays and pictures and the orthodontist examined her bite.  He agreed that yes, she has a pretty severe crossbite and will need braces or an expander.  But, because her front 4 teeth hadn't all grown in yet, he wanted to wait 6 months before starting treatment.

We went in today for her appointment where Joy had new pictures and x-rays taken and had an examination of her bite by the orthodontist.  While I was sitting in the office waiting, I had all these visions of how much this was going to cost.  How much pain it would cause Joy.  What it would mean for her diet--nothing sticky or crunchy rules out so many of her favorite foods.  Especially with Halloween and Christmas right around the corner.  How long would she have to have this thing in her mouth?  Would she have to wear a retainer for the rest of her life to keep her jaw in place?

After all the results were in, he turned to me and said that Joy no longer has a crossbite.  None.  She needs nothing.  For some reason, her jaw just expanded on its own.  No explanation.  He said he'd never seen it happen before.

You can see her front teeth were off centered in the top picture
and how her top molars were inside the bottom molars

After he left the room, his assistant just looked at Joy and said that she was magic.  She had never seen anything like this happen before.  I knew better.  This was no magic, this was a bonafide miracle.

I went home to get her pictures from 6 months ago to compare to today's.  Such a difference.  You can visually see that the roof of her mouth actually changed shape.  Her smile went from a Popeye smile to a normal one.  Her front teeth went from off center to centered.

It's not every day you get to see an actual miracle happen.

Can you see in the bottom picture how the roof of
her mouth expanded?  And how her front teeth
essentially opened up?